How The Music Community Is Supporting Bushfire Victims
Charity concerts, special merchandise and big donations are just some of the ways Australia's music scene is getting behind fundraising efforts for the unprecedented bushfires.
You've probably heard of some of the big-name donations already; $500,000 from Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, another half-million each from Kylie Minogue and American singer Pink.
But there's a stunning effort mobilising from Australia's domestic music scene too, from local garage bands to arena-filling headliners.
Sydney electronic artist Flume -- last week announced as one of the headliners of the Coachella festival -- has pledged a whopping $100,000 of his own cash to the WIRES animal rescue charity.
In an Instagram post, he said the fires were "breaking my heart."
"My home is on fire."
There's a number of big charity concerts going on around the country too, with big-name artists putting their time up for free in aid of firefighters and battered communities.
Gang of Youths, Briggs and Angus & Julia Stone are some of the big names on the Down To Earth fundraiser concert, set for Melbourne's Sidney Myer Music Bowl on February 26. Tickets are already on sale, with a stacked lineup of big Aussie talent.
Some of Australia's biggest hip-hop stars will come together for a massive concert in Sydney this Saturday. Horrorshow, Hermitude and Thundamentals are the big names on the January 11 bill, the venue for which had to be upgraded after the concert sold out almost instantly.
"This is a bushfire disaster like nothing we’ve seen in our lifetimes... It’s staggering to comprehend," the artists said. They're raising money for the Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities.
The same night, a huge lineup of Australian talent including Regurgitator, Polish Club, Art Vs Science and Dan Sultan are playing at the Metro Theatre, in a show that is part of the Sydney Festival.
The gig is in aid of the Red Cross and WIRES.
“We know Climate Change is real. We’re living it and our communities are living it and artists can help make a difference," said Sydney Festival director, Wesley Enoch.
"Putting on this concert is our small way of helping raise much needed funds for those suffering the effects of this unprecedented fire season.”
On the NSW south coast, Wollongong indie band Hockey Dad have announced they'll headline a concert at their local bowling club. They'll be joined by 90s grunge heroes Tumbleweed, Brisbane band Dune Rats, and a host of other local acts.
"The recent bushfires and subsequent devastation is an issue super close to home. We are a part of the South Coast. Our communities are literally burning to the ground," Hockey Dad said in announcing the gig on Monday.
The concert will also see the launch of a special edition t-shirt -- bearing the message "climate change is real", with a picture of a kangaroo watering a flower -- with all proceeds to fire responders.
Back in Melbourne, Courtney Barnett and Camp Cope are getting together for two charity gigs with Alice Skye at the Corner Hotel.
Taking place on Monday and Tuesday, both concerts sold out almost instantly, so if you haven't got a ticket, you've sadly already missed out.
Staying in Melbourne, rockers Press Club have got their own charity gig in their hometown, organising for a lot of friends like The Gooch Palms and Columbus to get together at the Stay Gold club on Friday.
They're raising cash for fire victims in Victoria.
American artist Mac De Marco is holding a charity BBQ with some musical friends. The 'Grill For Good' sausage sizzle is set for Melbourne's Victoria Park on January 12, with musicians including Alice Skye, Amyl and The Sniffers, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Laura Jean, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Pond and CHAI all turning up. There will be DJ sets on the day from Cut Copy, Miss Blanks, Remi, Harvey Sutherland and more.
A bunch of big-name Melbourne chefs will also be around to help out on the tongs. It's $10 entry, with donations to aid the Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities and Wildlife Victoria.
Brisbane punk band The Amity Affliction have also promised to play a charity concert in Melbourne in a fortnight's time.
In Adelaide, a stack of Aussie musicians are getting together on February 1 for 'Fire Aid'.
Pond, Bad Dreems, Tim Rogers (of You Am I fame), Hayley Mary (of The Jezebels) and stacks more are playing.
"Almost every band on the bill has someone close to them personally affected by fires here or interstate, so it is a cause very dear to all of us," said Alex Cameron, of Bad Dreems.
"We look forward to not only raising a considerable amount to help those in need, but also showing our solidarity in addressing the cataclysmic threats to our environment."
On January 25 in Brisbane, the likes of Matt Corby, Megan Washington, The Kite String Tangle and stacks more are getting together for 'Raise Em Up' at the Tivoli.
The same night in Brisbane, the 'Band Together' fundraiser is going down at The Zoo, headlined by Regurgitator.
On an even bigger scale, Aussie music promoters TEG Dainty and TEG Live have announced plans for a massive charity concert called 'Fire Fight' at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on February 16. They're teasing "a stellar line-up of major international and local artists", to be announced soon.
Even The Wiggles are getting behind it, announcing a reformation of their original lineup for a show in Sydney.
A lot of similar fundraiser gigs have already occurred -- the most prominent of which being a number of hastily-organised concerts from artists booked to play the Falls Festival at Lorne.
The Victorian leg of that touring festival was cancelled over the New Year period due to nearby fire danger, but a bunch of local and international acts including Halsey, Peking Duk, Yungblud and Bad Dreems all put on gigs in Melbourne in the following days.
Australian electronic duo Peking Duk organised their show at the famous Espy venue with just hours notice, but managed to raise $50,000 between ticket sales, merchandise and personal donations from the band and the venue.
"Our hearts break for the victims of these tragic bushfires,” the artists said.
Other Falls artists including Holy Holy, RAThammock, Totally Unicorn, Lime Cordiale, WAAX, Cry Club and Bakers Eddy also held their own impromptu charity gigs in Melbourne that week.
Other festivals were sadly forced to cancel at the last minute as well. Lost Paradise, on the NSW central coast, had to abandon its planned New Year event with just two weeks notice.
They issued refunds to ticketholders, but told fans that they would "love you to consider a donation to our friends at the RFS, who are on the front lines right now."
Back in Wollongong, the New Year's Day of Dance event had to be cancelled in the bushfire emergency, with the planned venue WIN Stadium on standby to be an evacuation centre for bushfire victims. Luckily, it didn't end up needing to be used, but the festival had to be abandoned at the last minute.
However, promoters Yours And Owls scrambled with just five days notice to relocate most of the booked artists to nightclub venues in Wollongong, with ticket sales from the replacement event donated to the RFS.
Elsewhere, a number of bands including Gang Of Youths and Pist Idiots have pledged to donate proceeds from merchandise sales to fire fundraisers nationwide.
This is just a small selection of what the Aussie music industry has been up to, with countless other fundraisers, donation drives, charity gigs and more going on all around the country.
Keep an eye out for some happening near you.